No MCO despite drastic spike

PM Muhyiddin says govt not considering MCO nationwide despite record 691 new Covid-19 cases yesterday

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by BERNAMA

THE government is not imposing a total lockdown for the time being despite the aggressive resurgence of Covid-19 cases to avoid any adverse impact to the country, Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) said.

Muhyiddin said the government will instead implement the Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO) in areas with a high number of Covid-19 infections.

“To date, we’re not considering the implementation of the MCO nationwide or a total lockdown. Should such a move be implemented again, it could cause huge impact to the country and the country’s socio-economic system could collapse, Na’uzubillah (God forbid),” the PM said in a special address that was televised at 6pm yesterday.

He said the TEMCO in affected sectors would allow social and economic activities in other areas Wthat are not affected by the pandemic to continue with strict adherence to the existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the watchful eyes of law enforcers.

Muhyiddin said the current economic recovery process is moving smoothly and any future decision would be based on the interest of the 15 million working population.

Other rulings or orders would be implemented with sustainability among Malaysians, as well as the country’s continuous economic stability, as the main priorities.

Muhyiddin said the government will impose movement restrictions between Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Labuan, beginning from 12.01am on Oct 12 until Oct 25.

He said interstate travel restrictions and school closure nationwide will be discussed by the National Security Council, should the need arise.

Muhyiddin said the government is also considering a stricter limit on events and public gatherings including large conferences and weddings as part of efforts to curb further Covid-19 infections.

Malaysia recorded 691 new Covid-19 cases yesterday — the highest since the outbreak — with most of the infections reported in Kedah (397) and Sabah (219).

Muhyiddin said the country’s health system is currently better prepared to handle the spread of the virus in the community compared to the earlier stages of the pandemic.

“We are now better prepared than before in terms of experience and manpower. We know the behaviour of the virus better and we have enough facilities and equipment.

“But we need to break the transmission of the virus and the best way is to stay at home especially in areas where Targeted Control Movement Order is enforced.

“We must flatten the curve. We did it before and I firmly believe we can do it again,” the PM said.

Muhyiddin said the spike of Covid-19 cases in Sabah was largely due to the presence of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries at the detention centres who have infected other detainees, staff, families and nearby communities.

Similarly, he said most of the cases in Kedah involve prison detainees, which also resulted in the emergence of new clusters in the community.

Muhyiddin admitted that political campaigns in Sabah were among the causes that had led to the rise in Covid-19 cases in the state.

However, he said a state election had to be held within 60 days after the dissolution of the state legislative assembly on July 30, in accordance with the Constitution.

He added that certain SOPs breaches, particularly the lack of physical distancing, were also seen during the campaigns. He also said there has been no double standards in the authority’s quarantine order.